US Imperialism

Haiti - the making of a catastrophe

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After the earthquake struck, the people of Haiti needed food, water and shelter - instead they got US troops and predatory corporations. Haiti's problems are not just a result of a natural disaster, Mike Gonzalez argues, but are rooted in the country's history of slavery and exploitation

The numbers are almost incomprehensible, the devastation and loss impossible to imagine. At least 100,000 people lie dead under the rubble, and 2 million are homeless and abandoned. The news footage of whirring helicopters and aircraft carriers outside the ruined ports created a mirage of action - but as the days passed nothing changed in the devastated slums of Port-au-Prince.

US: Imperialism

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The long war that is getting longer.

It has been called Barack Obama's "LBJ" moment, where a progressive president is dragged into escalating an unpopular war in the hope that a quick success could rescue the US's reputation around the world.

Lyndon Baines Johnson, who assumed the presidency following the assassination of John F Kennedy in 1962, was praised by many progressives for his support for civil rights legislation. But his failure in Vietnam eventually destroyed his presidency.

No defence for missile defence

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Big celebrations took place when US president Barack Obama announced that his administration had dropped plans to base a missile defence radar in the Czech Republic and anti-missile rockets in Poland.

The news about the cancellation of the plan to deploy the radar base 60 kilometres from Prague came just one day before the launch of the "anti-radar bus". From that moment it wasn't the bus of the protest any more - it was the bus of victory.

For all of us involved in the Iniciativa Ne Základnám (No to Bases Initiative) it was a moment of great satisfaction. It is more than three years since the Iniciativa Ne Základnám was launched. From that time we managed to gather more than 170,000 signatures to a petition calling for a national referendum over the US radar base.

Interview with Tariq Ali: Occupational hazards

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Rising military casualties have stimulated public debate about the war in Afghanistan. Judith Orr asks writer, broadcaster and activist Tariq Ali about the war and the prospects for the US imperialist project.

At Marxism 2009 you spoke about how "things are not going well" for the US and British governments in Afghanistan. It seems since then things have got a good deal worse. Military leaders talk of being in Afghanistan for many years, if not decades, and some are openly admitting the war is unwinnable. Is this a situation where, even if the US know they can't succeed, to withdraw is unthinkable? As the war aims constantly shift, are they now only concerned with not being seen to be beaten?

Lockerbie: cynicism, hypocrisy and deceit

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Britain secures privileged access to Libya's oil riches; Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi claims a diplomatic victory on the eve of celebrations to mark his 40 years in power; Scotland's nationalist politicians get to strut on the international stage. That was the plan and it has gone wrong.

The release on compassionate grounds of Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, convicted of the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, has led to an outbreak of claim and counter-claim.

But Megrahi is innocent. Evidence produced over the years by journalists, including Paul Foot, and victims' families have demolished the case against him.

Nato's bloody history

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Sixty years after its formation Nato continues to be an important tool of US imperialism. John Newsinger traces the organisation's history from its first meeting on 4 April 1949 to today's war in Afghanistan and its expansion into the countries of eastern Europe.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) is, we are assured by New Labour, a defensive alliance dedicated to the defence of peace and freedom. The members of this "defensive alliance" between them account for 75 percent of the world's military expenditure, with the US alone accounting for just over 50 percent. This is a clue that all is not as we are led to believe. Indeed, Nato's overwhelming military might is all the greater when one recognises that a large proportion of the rest of the world's military expenditure is spent by "friendly" powers, such as Israel, India and Japan.

Letter from India

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India's ruling class is growing ever closer to US imperialism, reports Kavita Krishnan.

The Indian media lost no time in naming last year's Mumbai terror attack "26/11" or "India's 9/11" - displaying unseemly pride in India's enhanced "status" as a US ally and a target of global terror.

In contrast to such a sentiment, thousands of workers, agricultural labourers, young people and students marched to parliament in the Indian capital of Delhi on 12 December 2008, a fortnight after the Mumbai attack, with slogans and placards that told the Indian government to "stop importing terror and economic crisis from the US!"

After Barack Obama's historic victory, what's next?

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What will Barack Obama's presidency bring? That depends on the balance of forces argues Jonathan Neale.

I've lived abroad for many years, but I grew up in the US, and still carry a US passport. I cried for joy the night Barack Obama was elected. But I didn't vote for him. I want to explain both of these things as a way of explaining what his election means for the future.

Iraq and Afghanistan - out of the frying pan...

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One of the most popular placards on any Stop the War demonstration in the past few years has been Socialist Worker's image of George W Bush with the slogan "World's #1 Terrorist". It's not just the change of name that makes that redundant after 20 January.

Barack Obama stood on a platform of withdrawing US troops from Iraq. His candidacy expressed the widespread opposition to the Iraq war across the US. In fact, Obama's success in getting himself on the ticket as the Democratic Party candidate was itself due in large part to anti-war feelings.

While exit polls showed that 63 percent said the economy was the major issue concerning voters, the second most important issue was the war in Iraq.

Nato and Russia: Georgia on their minds

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What lies behind the conflict between Georgia and Russia? Dave Crouch explains why the Caucasus has become the new front for US imperialism.

The British media coverage of the war that erupted in the Caucasus last month almost universally portrayed a fragile little democracy terrorised by its big Russian neighbour. But a closer look at what happened reveals something different - a frightening escalation of the "war on terror" that masks the US drive for markets, oil and influence around the globe.

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